In the 1200-1300’s the Caloosa Tribe made their home here, complete wilderness
and swamp. During the 1500-1600’s, pirates and buccaneers made the area their
home. In the 1800’s, the barefoot mailmen carried mail from Palm Beach to Miami,
walking the entire distance along the sandy beach. It wasn’t until 1896, when Henry
Flagler completed the East Coast Railway, that civilized progress began. People
traveled in greater numbers and established homes where swamp and jungle had
once existed. In the early 1900’s a group of Japanese emigrated to Florida and
settled just west of the Intracoastal Waterway, naming their little community
Yamato. Here they successfully raised pineapple and vegetables.

The history of present day Highland Beach began in 1949 when it was incorporated
with 21 free voters. The name "Highland Beach" was chosen because at that time
the land rose 20 to 25 feet above high tide, relatively higher than other portions
of the dune crest in the area.